The people of Framingham in Massachusetts have been part of a long-term population study testing a whole range of things from cardiovascular health to a more recent study of the effects of stress.
In this latter test, over 2,000 people had their Cortisol levels tested and MRIs of their brains.
Cortisol is a hormone that’s associated with stress – the higher it is, the more stressed we are. And MRIs take non-invasive pictures of the brain. By matching up the Cortisol levels with changes in the brain, the researchers were able to see the physiological effects of stress.
They found that those with high Cortisol levels had smaller brains and memory loss. Given the average age of the participants was about 48, this is a worrying trend. It indicates that the stressors of modern life can have a significant impact on our most important organ.
Reducing stress can be difficult, but there are a number of things you can do to help:
- Regular exercise
- Enough sleep
- A good diet
Or if you’re finding it difficult to switch off mentally, you could try Hypnotherapy. Find out more about how I can help you with Hypnotherapy.
Dr Carmen Hunwardsen owns and operates Carmen’s Spinal Care, a busy North Brisbane chiropractic clinic in Everton Hills.